John Clarke, OCD, 3rd ed. (1997). Includes
Bibliography, general Index, and 11 photos.
Two and a half years before her death in
1897 at the age of 24, as Thérèse Martin began
writing down her childhood memories at the
request of her blood sisters in the Lisieux
Carmel, few could have guessed the eventual
outcome. Yet this "story of my soul," first
published in 1898 in a highly edited version,
quickly became a modern spiritual classic,
read by millions and translated into dozens
of languages around the world.
Decades later, in response to growing
requests from scholars and devotees of the
Saint, a facsimile edition of the manuscripts
appeared, along with more popular French
editions of what the Saint had actually
written. Here, expressed with all of
Thérèse's original spontaneity and fervor,
we rediscover the great themes of her
spirituality: confidence and love, the "little
way," abandonment to God's merciful love, and
her "mission" in the church and world today.
Father John Clarke's acclaimed translation,
first published in 1975 and now accepted as the
standard throughout the English-speaking world,
is a faithful and unaffected rendering of
Thérèse's own words, from the original
manuscripts. This new edition, prepared for the
centenary of the Saint's death, includes a
select bibliography of recent works in English
on Thérèse, along with a new referencing system
now widely used in studies of her doctrine.
About the author
St. Therese of the Child Jesus and Holy Face, was a
Carmelite Nun in a Carmelite monastery in Lisieux,
France. She is also known as the Little Flower of
Jesus. She was born at Alençon, France, 2 January,
1873; died at Lisieux 30 September, 1897.
She was the ninth child of saintly parents, Louis
and Zélie Martin, both of whom had wished to
consecrate their lives to God in the cloister. The
vocation denied them was given to their children,
five of whom became religious, one to the Visitation
Order and four in the Carmelite Convent of Lisieux.
Brought up in an atmosphere of faith where every
virtue and aspiration were carefully nurtured and
developed, her vocation manifested itself when she
was still only a child. Educated by the Benedictines,
when she was fifteen she applied for permission to
enter the Carmelite Convent, and being refused by
the superior, went to Rome with her father, as eager
to give her to God as she was to give herself, to seek
the consent of the Holy Father, Leo XIII, then
celebrating his jubilee. He preferred to leave the
decision in the hands of the superior, who finally
consented and on 9 April, 1888, at the unusual age
of fifteen, Thérèse Martin entered the convent of
Lisieux where two of her sisters had preceded her.
The account of the eleven years of her religious
life, marked by signal graces and constant growth
in holiness, is given by Sister Thérèse in her
autobiography, written in obedience to her superior
and published two years after her death. In 1901 it
was translated into English, and in 1912 another
translation, the first complete edition of the life of
the Servant of God, containing the autobiography,
"Letters and Spiritual Counsels", was published.
Its success was immediate and it has passed into
many editions, spreading far and wide the devotion
to this "little" saint of simplicity, and abandonment
in God's service, of the perfect accomplishment of
small duties. This autobiography is now published
under the title Story of a Soul.
The fame of her sanctity and the many miracles
performed through her intercession caused the
introduction of her cause of canonization only
seventeen years after her death, 10 Jun, 1914.
She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997.